Canyoning Da Lat

 

Abseiling Da Lat

Abseiling Da Lat

I’ve never met anyone that has taken this tour and not liked it. The people that went yesterday, they loved it. Friends that have been to Da Lat previously have raved about it. I’m not big on tours as a general rule (unless I am leading it), but this is one that I was told I had to do.

And guess what…? I LOVED IT TOO! Continue reading

Communist Leadership and a Vietnamese Prison

Nhiem, (Chairman) Dihn, and Friends

Nhiem, (Chairman) Dihn, and Friends

Today, I wake up and meet Nhiem, the man with whom I spent Christmas evening. This morning, he is taking me out for coffee to meet his brother. He is the recently retired district Party Chairman.

Hammer and Sickle

Hammer and Sickle

As in “Communist Party”.

Yep, one of the senior leaders of the Communist party. Responsible for 1.1 million Vietnamese people. Continue reading

Christmas Dinner

DSC01407I roll into Tay Ninh on December 24th largely to see what this Vietnamese Cao Dai religion is all about and to see their Temple. I’d been in town for only 15 minutes, when walking through a park, I meet a local man named Nheim. We walk through the park and talk for about 30 minutes and he is great company and eager, it seems to practice his English.

He is great fun to talk to, has a very engaging personality, and is forthcoming with all kinds of information on his town, things to do, and Cao Dai. As we say our goodbyes, he invites me to his house the next day to meet his wife and have dinner. Christmas dinner with a Vietnamese couple…count me in! Continue reading

December 25th: Merry…..something….?!?

Child at Carnival on December 24th - Tay Nihn, Vietnam

Child at Carnival on December 24th – Tay Nihn, Vietnam

On this day, arbitrarily picked by Romans during a forced conversion from Paganism to Christianity, I am an American in a communist country, touring a Cao Dai Temple, then attending their midnight mass in Tay Nihn, Vietnam..

Main Altar and the All-Seeing Eye at the Cao Dai Temple

Main Altar and the All-Seeing Eye at the Cao Dai Temple

So, for these reasons, I’ll simply say, “Happy December 25th everyone!” Continue reading

Cao Dai – Tay Nihn, Vietnam

Cao Dai Elder Lights Candles at Temple Altar

Cao Dai Elder Lights Candles at Temple Altar

What is Cao Dai? Well, it is a religion and it’s a new one on me. They have a big, gaudy temple, about 3 million followers, and it’s Christmas Eve. What the heck…I’m down. Let me in!

And they did. I was given the royal treatment, toured around the grounds and through the temple, and had all my questions answered (even if I only understood about one word in five).  I was also invited to attend their mass at midnight on Christmas Eve. Continue reading

Cambodia Travel Itinarary

Angkor Wat - 8th Wonder of the World

Angkor Wat – 8th Wonder of the World

I’ve spent a great deal of time in Cambodia over the past couple years.  I am continually asked for advice on a suggested itinerary by travelers headed there.  After many individual emails and long, hand-written notes, here’s the post it to make life easier on everybody.  So, this, in my experience, is what to do (and not do) in Cambodia.

Continue reading

Epic Arts – Happy!

Epic Arts - Kampot, Cambodia

Epic Arts – Kampot, Cambodia

EPiC (Every Person Counts)

I’ve been meaning to post this for some time.   One of my favorite places to eat and a really heart-warming place in Kampot, Cambodia is called Epic Arts.  They provide employment, education, creative services, and an outlet for the deaf and disabled community of the town. Continue reading